Louis althusser ideology by Murtaza Ali Ch

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Louis Althusser (ideology & the state)

Transcript of Louis althusser ideology by Murtaza Ali Ch

  • 1. Presented to Sir Fakhar ul Islam by: Murtaza Ali M.Phil. Mass Communication Semester: 031

2. Louis Althusser (ideology & the state) 2 3. IDEOLOGYI WOULD SAYLouis Althusser (1918-1990) 3 4. Karl Marx (1818-1883)The German Ideology (1846) The Communist Manifesto (1848) Capital (1867)4 5. Marxism Marxism is the theory of how the normality of our everyday world, its workday habits and its working day, its monetary stresses and pressures on one end and its leisure and freedom on the other, is riven( ) from within by what Marx called class struggle (Literary Theory: an Anthology, 231).5 6. MAIN PUBLICATIONS1. Montesquieu, Rousseau, Marx Politics and History 2. For Marx 3. Lenin and Philosophy 4. Reading Capital 5. Essays on Self Criticism6 7. LOUIS ALTHUSSER SYNOPSIS October 16th 1918 Louis Althusser born in Birmendreis, Algeria 1937 Althusser joined the Catholic Youth Movement Before the War Accepted into the elite Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS) in Paris Enlisted into WWII, and taken into a German POW camp where his move to communism began. 1947 Finally able to attend ENS but was in poor health and from this time, Althusser suffered from periodic mental illness. 1948 Althusser joined the French Communist Party (PCF) 1958 Nikia Krucshev began the phase of de-Stalinisation and began to revert back to the humanist ideas of Marx. Althusser opposed this and earned him notoriety within the French Communist Party. 1959 Althusser wrote Montesquieu, Rousseau, Marx 1965 Althusser wrote For Marx and Reading Capital February 1968 Althusser wrote Lenin and Philosophy 1972 Althusser wrote Essays in Self Criticism November 16th 1980 Althusser strangled his wife, Helene Rytmann. Committed to Sainte-Anne Psychiatric hospital where he remained until 1983 1983 Moved to Northern Paris and lived as a recluse. October 22nd 1990 Althusser died of a heart attack in Paris aged 72 7 8. HISTORICAL CONTEXTThe industrial revolution and the increase in the population caused mass urbanisation in Germany towards the end of the 19th century. Peasants that used to work out on the farm lands migrated to the cities where they took up jobs in factories. The peasants no longer owned the means of production but instead were hired by rich factory owners (bourgeoisie) who made huge profits of their labour, Karl Marx observations of these social changes and the resulting inequalities between the bourgeois and the working classes (proletariat) lead to his theories on class struggle.Russia at the turn of the century was under ruin of Tsar Nicholas II whose brutal techniques to keep his people in line and increase in taxation of crops was causing civil uprising, the unfair treatment of the peasant classes leads to an increase in support for the communist ideology. This ideology was made popular by figure head such as Trotsky and Lenin who both took from the teachings of MarxismIn 1917the tsar of Russia was overthrown and the socialist powers took over the country. Throughout Europe the socialist ideology was gaining supportIn 1920 the French communist party was formed which had strong affiliations with the Russian communist ideology. 8 9. IDEOLOGY DEFINITIONIDEOLOGY (WHAT IS IT?)9 10. Ideology By Marxism "False consciousness": a masking, distortion, or concealment The way some cultural texts and practices present distorted images of realityIdeology works in interest of the powerful andAGAINST interests of the powerlessAccording to Marx, ideology is the ruling ideas of the ruling class. In this definition ideology is, more or less, a reflection of the material infrastructure. 10 11. IDEOLOGY DEFINITIONAn ideology is a set of ideas that constitute one's goals, expectations, and actions.An ideology is a comprehensive vision, a way of looking at things as in several philosophical tendencies, or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to all members of this society.11 12. IDEOLOGY DEFINITION What does this word mean to you? What is an ideology? The term ideology was coined (by Claude Destutt in 1796) to mean "the science of ideas" Since then, has taken on many other meanings Here are some of the most common: 12 13. How does ideology work? How do people come to believe it? 1) Ideologies: historical, specific, various2) Ideology: Ahistorical, asocial, unchanging, inevitable There is no escape from ideology. It is called, the Prison-house of language. (Fredrick Jameson) 13 14. Louis Althusser (1918-1990) Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses Why do people obey the State? Why dont they rebel? 1) RSAs: ensure physical enforcement of the law, primarily work by repression (the police) 2) ISAs: generate beliefs and values (family, schools) 14 15. IDEOLOGY DEFINITIONThesethings give us pleasure, release tensions Butultimately they return us to our place in the social order Becausethey reproduce the social conditions necessary for capitalism to continue15 16. Ideology is a representation of the Imaginary relationship of Individuals to their Real conditions of existence (Althusser, 24). Why not just understand the real? The real economic condition= exploitation, alienation Ideology= the mask, the painkiller, the illusory representation Ideology does not reflect the reality; it distorts it. 16 17. Ideology has a material existence.It exists in two places1) In an apparatus or practice: a ritual (a material practice) 2) In a subject, a person (a material being)17 18. IDEOLOGY DEFINITIONValue-neutral conception What this implies an individual does not have an ideology but an individual may reflect the ideology of the group they are a member of 18 19. IDEOLOGY DEFINITIONIdeology as "material practice Examples of "material practice" that reflects ideology takingsummer holidays, giving gifts on ocassions19 20. IDEOLOGYWhat produces and maintains (dominant) ideology in society? Althusser talked about "ideological state apparatuses" (ISAs) Education systemChurch (religion) FamilyMass mediaThese ISAs "train" us to follow and perpetuate the values and rules of the dominant classes20 21. IDEOLOGY & THE STATEISAs vs. RSA because of the power (and willingness) of the ISAs to do the work of the powerful... The Repressive State Apparatus (government, military, courts) need not use force The ISAs do their jobs And make us into good, law-abiding students, family members, citizens, church members, capitalists Who do not complain, do not try to overthrow the government, do not try to overthrow the bosses 21 22. IDEOLOGY & THE STATECONSEQUENTLY Ideology (world-view maintained and "taught" by the ISAs) comes to be seen as NaturalUniversalCompleteNeutralLegitimate"common sense 22 23. IDEOLOGYIn all of these definitions, ideology is... Meaningin the service of powernotjust a value-neutral set or system of ideas Rather,a system that underlies, supports, and justifies a group's Exerciseof powerMaintenance Strugglesof powerfor power23 24. Complete Bibliography 1940-45 Journal de captivit 1947 That Night! 1949 Notes sur une conference de G.Lukacs a la Sorbonne 1950 The Return to Hegel: the last word in academic revisionism 1959 Montesquieu, Rousseau, Marx 1962 Contradiction and Over-determination Notes on Materialist Theatre 1963 On the Material Dialect 1965 For Marx 1966 The philosophical Conjuncture and Marxist theoretical research Three Notes on the Theory of Discourses 1967 The humanist controversy 1968 Lenin and Philosophy Reading Capital 1969 Ideological State and Ideological State Apparatus 1970 Marxs Relation to Hegel 1972 Essays in self criticism 1974 Philosophy & the Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists, and other essays 1980 Our Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1992 The future lasts a long time 1994 Essays in ideology24 25. GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS.Written and translated: 1969 by Ben Brewster.ABSTRACT: (abstrait). For Althusser, the theoretical opposition between the abstract and the concrete lies wholly in the realm of theory. The abstract is the starting-point for theoretical practice, its Generality I (q.v.), while the concrete is its end-point (Generality III). ALIENATION: (alination, Entusserung). An ideological concept used by Marx in his Early Works (q.v.) and regarded by the partisans of these works as the key concept of Marxism. Marx derived the term from Feuerbachs anthropology where it denoted the state of man and society where the essence of man is only present to him in the distorted form of a god, which, although man created it in the image of his essence (the species-being), appears to him as an external, pre-existing creator. Marx used the concept to criticize the State and the economy as confiscating the real self-determining labour of men in the same way. In his later works, however, the term appears very rarely, and where it does it is either used ironically, or with a different conceptual content (in Capital, for instance). BREAK, EPISTEMOLOGICAL: (coupure epistmologique). A concept introduced by Gaston Bachelard in his La Formation de lesprit scientifique, and related to uses of the term in studies in the history of ideas by Canguilhem and Foucault (see Althussers Letter to the Translator). It describes the leap from the pre-scientific world of ideas to the scientific world; this leap involves a radical break with the whole pattern and frame of reference of the pre-scientific (ideological) notions, and the construction of a new pattern (problematic q.v.). Althusser applies it to Marxs rejection of the Hegelian and Feuerbachian ideology of his youth and the construction of the basic concepts of dialectical and historical materialism (q.v.) in his later works. CONSCIOUSNESS: (conscience). A term designating the region where ideology is located (false consciousness) and superseded (true consciousness), contaminated by the pre-Marxist ideology of the Young Marx. In fact, Althusser argues, ideology is profoundly uncons